Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Are You Suffering from Gluten Intolerance?

A growing number of individuals are wondering if they are suffering from gluten intolerance and are researching gluten sensitivity. I for one am one of those people.

So what is gluten?
Gluten is not a protein itself but rather a protein composite that can be found in wheat, rye, barley, kamut and spelt. It provides an elasticity and glue-like capacity to hold its flour products together and provide them with a chewy texture.

Some argue that the peptide sequences in rice, corn, and oats contain some form of gluten, but for the sake of studying gluten intolerance, these other grains are considered safe as their protein profiles do not match the profiles of the "troublesome" grains. However, some may need to avoid oats because oats are often harvested and processed alongside wheat and thus may be cross-contaminated.

So what is gluten intolerance? Gluten Intolerance must be separated into three distinct categoreis: Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and a Wheat Allergy. 

Technically wheat allergy is not a gluten intolerance. This is a histamine response to wheat, much like a peanut allergy or hay fever. Some people experience hives while others might experience stomach pain.

Celiac Disease occurs when the proteins in gluten trigger your immune system to overreact with strong and unusual antibodies. The antibodies wear down the little hairs called villi, which line the walls of your intestine. These little hairs grab and absorb nutrients as foods pass through your lower digestive tract. As this disease slowly destroy the little hairs (villi), then you become less and less able to process any nutrition from your food.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is currently a little more difficult to pinpoint, because those that suffer with NCGS suffer very similarly to people with Celiac Disease, but the blood test which identifies and diagnoses this disease returns as negative. The only way to find out if you might have NCGS is through a gluten free diet.

When Gluten Intolerance Causes Weight Gain!
Most Celiac Disease sufferers lose weight, but because of the body's will to survive, some will experience weight gain. And here's why.... When the antibodies triggered by consuming gluten damages the little hairs (villi) along the lining of the small intestine, the amount of nutrients these villi can absorb diminishes. For most, this will cause some degree of weight loss. For others, this creates an insatiable appetite. The body wants more food so it can try to obtain the nutrients needed to survive and thrive. Villi damage can also impede fatty acid absorption, which in turn can cause an increase in appetite and reduce your body's ability to break down fats.  

WOW! This has opened up a whole new avenue for me. I think that to help myself along with my weight loss program, I should try a gluten free diet, but what I am finding out is the gluten containing foods have more protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals than the gluten free counterparts. I suppose I will have to do a little research to find a healthier blend of flours and not overindulge!!  I believe new flours like quinoa, buckwheat, bean and nut flours are a good place to start.

Here's to your health!

The Lord heals your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, satisfies you with good, shows compassion to his children, and knows your frame. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast lovd.
Psalm 103: 3-14

I am in no way suggesting that anyone follow any suggestions that I might have on my blog. If you are experiencing any type of symptoms of any sort, please see your doctor.


  1. Interesting post, Brenda. It seems most everyone is allergic to something these days. If our ancestors had as many allergies to foods as most today, I question if humanity would have survived.

    Though there may be some who are truly physiologically allergic to certain items, I'm wondering if there is more of an underlining 'contemporary' cause to these allergies; more of an emotional, mental, and/or environmental cause.

    I hope I can get in more water today than I did yesterday. Good health to you, and enjoy this delightful autumn day!

    Marianne xo

  2. hmm maybe this is the answer to my husband's problem, he consumes alot of oats hehe, i have an allergy problem, mostly on drugs like paracetamol but i do love my cereal in the morning and bread for lunch, thank you for the informative post as usual!

    Here's to your health too!